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Clear Creek Amana New Elementary School


As one of the fastest-growing school districts in Iowa, the Clear Creek Amana School District needed a new elementary school to house 450 additional students. As part of the 72,000-square-foot project, an energy-efficient heating and cooling system that could provide individual temperature control for each classroom was needed.
Clear Creek Amana School District also wanted to take advantage of any rebates and incentives available for investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system.


Shive-Hattery designed a geothermal system with tubes that run horizontally through the ground. These tubes circulate water, reject heat to or draw heat from the ground depending on the season, then send it back to heat pumps throughout the building. In each classroom, an individual heat pump provides heating and cooling as needed.
A ventilation heat pump with an energy recovery wheel brings in outside air to ventilate classrooms and bring the air temperature to an efficient level in order to deliver it to classroom heat pumps; energy is also transferred between outside and exhaust-air airstreams. This helps efficiently manage humidity levels as well.
Thermostats in each classroom provide the teachers with temperature control. When the school day is over, the ventilation units can be shut off so that no outside air is brought into the building; the heat pumps maintain the temperature when the space is unoccupied. The gymnasium also has its own dedicated heat pump to control ventilation, heating, and cooling.


The new Tiffin Elementary School helps the Clear Creek Amana School District meet its growth needs and will serve elementary students well into the future. Thanks in part to the building’s geothermal system, the school operates at nearly 50% less energy usage vs. comparable buildings in the district.
The geothermal system also qualified the elementary school for a substantial utility rebate, helping improve return on investment and reduce upfront costs.
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